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Apparently I now own an Astrocade


LaserCat
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A recent health scare has inspired me to purchase some of the more elusive systems of my youth. I managed to acquire this Bally in near mint condition with no scratches and damn near no dust. One of the controllers is still sealed. I’m running it through an Aurora V Tune into a Sony PVM 20m2md. Picture is soft stable and fairly clean. Apparently the Aurora will also output component so maybe I need to acquire some component cables. 
 

 

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For whatever reason I could not get a decent screenshot.

 

 

Edited by LaserCat
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Congratulations. I just found my old Astrocade in my parents attic. Haven’t gone to the trouble of hooking it up yet though. I know that several of the controllers have issues with either the POT or the directional inputs. When I do get around to it though, I have a fairly large selection of games (last I checked, the whole back cover area was full, so 25ish games).

 

I do have worries that some of the capacitors might have blown, or possibly it will suffer from overheating. It has been sitting up there is +100 degree temps for 20+ years.

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2 hours ago, LaserCat said:

I managed to acquire this Bally in near mint condition with no scratches and damn near no dust. One of the controllers is still sealed.

 

Congratulations on getting a Bally Arcade/Astrocade.  I hope to see you posting questions and letting us know what you think of the system.  If you have AstroBASIC, then you'll be able to try hundreds of programs.  Hopefully the Astrocade multicart is still available to purchase.

 

Adam

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1 hour ago, ballyalley said:

 

Congratulations on getting a Bally Arcade/Astrocade.  I hope to see you posting questions and letting us know what you think of the system.  If you have AstroBASIC, then you'll be able to try hundreds of programs.  Hopefully the Astrocade multicart is still available to purchase.

 

Edited by LaserCat
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Just now, LaserCat said:

how should about learning all I can’t about my new aquisition? 

 

There are many Astrocade FAQs on my website, here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/faqs/faqs.html

 

These are kind of old-school, I know.  The general Astrocade FAQ is here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/faqs/bally-astrocade_faq.txt

 

I suggest downloading it and viewing it with a monospace font like "Courier New" at 10pt with margins of 1" and 0.9".

 

I have MANY videos about the Astroacade on YouTube, although not one that is an overivew of the system.  You can view my playlists, here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/ballyalley/playlists

 

There are some general Astrocade overview videos, here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/astrocade_videos/Astrocade_Hardware_Videos/Astrocade_Hardware_Videos.html

 

The Bally Arcade is a strange, wonderful little box that offers more than most people could have expected in 1978.  It's too bad it never realized its full potential.

 

Adam

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Well I am not sure how I managed to post in the manner in which I just posted. Anyway this is my first time interacting with an Astrocade in person. I grew up in the country so I did not have access to the upper scale stores where, as I understand, the Astroscan was mainly sold. I did, however, have access to many magazines and was able to read about the system. Having said that my first question is:  Where should begin learning about my Bally Arcade?

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47 minutes ago, LaserCat said:

I have Basic. Am I going to have to type programs in line by line like we did way back then?

 

I presume that you have the more common AstroBASIC (the cartridge with the built-in tape interface).  If you type in a program, then, yes, you'll have to do it line-by-line.  Most programs have been archived already in WAV format and can be loaded into BASIC.  All of the archived AstroBASIC programs are here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/program_downloads/2000_baud_programs/2000_baud_programs.html

 

I recommend starting with WaveMakers, a company that released 20 tapes with, usually, one program per side.  The WaveMakers programs are available here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/program_downloads/2000_baud_programs/wave_makers/wave_makers.html

 

One of my favorite games for the Astrocade by WaveMakers is "The Gate Escape," which you can download, here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/program_downloads/2000_baud_programs/wave_makers/wave_makers.html#TheGateEscapeWaveMakersAB

 

Here is an overview of the game that I made in 2019:

 

Try getting started with this game to see what you think of BASIC games.  Keep in mind that BASIC save SEVERE limitations on the Astrocade.  There is only 1.8K of RAM available and, in most cases, only two colors are on-screen at once.  Still, Bally BASIC came out for the Bally Arcade in 1978.  It was pretty impressive for the time of its release on a platform that could be purchased at a reasonable price.

 

Adam

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